Toddlers to Teens….Raising Arrows

by frazzledmama on July 15, 2016

At the moment I have a few close friends who have 2 and 3 year old children.  Spending time with them takes me back to when my kiddos were tiny humans trying to explore and understand their world.  And I remember….

It’s exhausting.

If you have a precocious child you understand this fully. Your days tend to feel like a never ending trip into an alternate universe where anything and everything can happen in the span of 2 minutes.  For example:

X has squeezed chocolate syrup through the kitchen and dinning room area. As I was mopping the floors he then climbed to the bathroom counter got the toothpaste and squeezed all of it into the toilet, while peeing on the floor. Oh did I forget to mention he’s in the “rip my diaper off” phase???

I laughed when I read this Facebook post from my dear friend, as I’m sure she will laugh about it 10 years from now.   But in the moment, it’s maddening.  When I was drowning in babies, I remember Mr. OverKill coming home at the end of the day to a completely trashed house, dinner if he was lucky, and me saying “All I did today was put out fires.  What on earth am I doing here???”

When we started having children, Mr. OverKill and I decided to try an experiment.  We decided to put our best effort forth in raising our children the way the Lord says they should be raised.  Quite literally putting all of our eggs in one basket…but it was HIS basket.  We have sacrificed financially, emotionally, and physically in our desire to follow the Lords directions with regards to our children.

Deuteronomy 6:7 – And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

This verse has been the cornerstone of raising our children.  Deuteronomy 6:7 was a pivotal verse for me, as I came to understand that in order to follow God’s direction  I needed to be home with my kids.  It wasn’t easy.  I had goals, plans, dreams even of what my career might hold. Sometimes, I even allow myself to linger over those thoughts today.  Where would I be?  What would I be doing? Sometimes I mourn the once promising career that now is a distant memory.

But I digress.

I believe that Deuteronomy 6:7 gives us such a great picture of motherhood, at every stage, but especially during those exhaustingly busy years of cleaning lipstick off walls and calling poison control to find out if drinking perfume will kill your son.  The Lord knew we would have these days, and He also knew how important it would be for parents not to throw up their hands and give up.  He knows how crucial it is for parents to be engaged and relentless in teaching their children….alllll the time!  Walking, sitting, going to bed, rising up…Granted there are days with much less sitting than walking…or running.

I want to encourage you moms of tiny mobile humans that all your efforts will pay off.   I want to encourage you that when you feel invisible to the ENTIRE world, especially that 2 year old currently peeing NEXT to the toilet, rather than in it, God sees your efforts. He sees that you are doing messy Kingdom work.  And He smiles on your work.

Psalm 127

I think sometimes verses become too familiar to us and they loose some of their potency to impact our hearts.  Let’s not allow that to happen here.  Think for a moment about arrows in the hand of a warrior.  What is their purpose?  They are to be launched towards the enemy for the purpose of causing injury to said enemy, correct? This is the image the Lord has given us of our children. What a powerful picture! We MUST train up our children in the Lord, so that we may launch them into the world, into our culture that is filled with the enemy(Satan, sin, and flesh… not people). Why? So that they can be a force to be reckoned with.  Right now, that two year old IS a force to be reckoned with, and our job as parents is to mold and shape and encourage our children to use theirs skills and talents, even their strong willed natures, for the Lord.

And guess where that starts?  It starts teaching a 6 month old to lie down when it is nap time. It starts with staying consistent with a relentless two year and their honey pot antics. It starts when we require obedience even on issues that seem inconsequential.   It starts with a commitment in your heart to stay the course and preserver through the tough spots.  I promise you, it’s worth it.  I had a VERY rebellious two year old.  My heart ached and my body was weary from the day to day battle to bend her will to obedience.  Fast forward 12 years and she is the sweetest most compliant teen.  She doesn’t rebel over clothing or make up, rather we have conversations filled with love and respect.  Most importantly, her heart is tender toward the correction of her Savior.

Mr. OverKill and I have not done everything perfect with our children….and I’m sure we will make our share of mistakes as the years continue….  And our children are far from perfect.  But we are out of the “little child” phase and are in the throws of the teen years, and I can honestly say all that exhausting work during the little years, has paid of exponentially during the teen years.  I am tremendously thankful now that I gave up my plans for my life at the time and followed the leading of the Lord in my family.  His ways are not my ways, but they are blessed ways, they are ways filled with hard won victories.

Please feel free to print the above graphic for personal use :)

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